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Christmas Film Inspires Business Owner

Anyone who has seen the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” starring Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker, a 9-year-old boy who tries to convince his parents, teachers and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect gift, is likely to remember the lamp the father brought home. The lamp, shaped like a woman’s leg wearing high heels with fringe around the lampshade, became a focal point in the movie and has now become a business venture for San Diegan Brian Jones.

His company, Red Rider Leg Lamps, has been producing and selling leg lamps since its inception in 2003.

“This is as close to the real thing as you can get,” Jones said of the product.

The company, which has six full- and part-time employees, has sold more than 3,000 leg lamps and does most of its business around the holidays, he said.

“About 60-70 percent of our business is during the Christmas season,” Jones said.

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Jones, who initially invested $50,000 into the design and production of the lamps, recently purchased the house in Cleveland where “A Christmas Story” was filmed.

The house, which he bought on eBay, will eventually be turned into a museum.

The lamps can be found at several retailers nationwide, including a local lamp store, Tap Lighting in Hillcrest.

The majority of the lamps are sold on the company’s Web site, www.redriderleglamps.com, and sell for $139.99, plus $35 for shipping and handling.

To complete the movie experience, the company offers a shipping option that includes shipment of the lamp in a wooden crate, similar to the package the father receives in the movie.

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Leading The Pack:

The University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration is presenting its second annual Women in Leadership Conference, from 7:30 a.m. to noon on April 8 at the Joan Kroc Center for Peace and Justice, 5998 Alcala Park in San Diego.

The conference includes keynote speakers Barbara De Angelis, author of 13 best-selling books on relationships, and Kitty Mackey, senior vice president of Pfizer Global Research & Development and head of its pharmaceutical research-and-development operation in La Jolla.

The conference will also include round-table discussions with 25 local woman leaders, including Phyllis Schwartz, the president and general manager of local TV station NBC 7/39; Barbara Bry, the chief executive officer of Voice of San Diego, an online news publication; and Julie Sullivan, the new USD provost.

The conference costs $95 and $25 for the networking lunch.

For information, visit www.sandiego.edu.

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Four-Day Workweek:

The California Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring legislation to permit individual workers and their employers to mutually agree to a four-day workweek.

Assembly Bill 640 would help employees achieve greater flexibility in work schedules and allow an employee to work up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, according to the chamber.

Under current law, overtime must be paid to an employee who has worked more than eight hours in a day, regardless of whether the employee works fewer than 40 hours in the week.

The current law does not conform to the national Fair Labor Standards Act, which bases its overtime requirements on total hours worked per week, rather than total hours worked per day.

According to the chamber, California is one of only four states that does not conform to the national FLSA.

The bill awaits a hearing date in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.


Send small-business news to Lisa Kovach via fax at (858) 571-3628 or e-mail at lkovach@sdbj.com. Call her at (858) 277-6359, Ext. 3107.

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